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Mark Levinson completes 5000 series with 'flagship' preamp and power amplifier

(Image credit: Mark Levinson)

Since 2019, when Mark Levinson officially released its first two 5000 series separates (namely the 'affordable' £7995/$8500 5805 stereo amplifier, which received a glowing five-star review from us, and its digital input-only sister, the 5802) the Connecticut firm's been busy. 

First teased at CES in January 2020, the company's second ever turntable, the Mark Levinson 5105, is finally shipping, but that's not all: the firm has now officially completed the series with the No. 5206 preamp and No.5302 power amplifier – two products which Mark Levinson is categorising as "flagship" separates – to add to the now-shipping No. 5101 network streaming SACD player and DAC.

Ready for a little inspection? 

Mark Levinson No. 5206

(Image credit: Mark Levinson)

Mark Levinson's new "flagship" No. 5206 is a new dual-monaural preamplifier. It boasts a fully discrete, direct-coupled line-level class A preamp circuitry (for which the design team was awarded two patents), MM/MC phono stage and a headphone output.

Mark Levinson says the No. 5206 preamplifier was created to deliver all the performance and quality expected from its top-of-the-range 500 series, but "hot-rodded" to offer new affordability. 

Each of its four stereo line-level inputs – two balanced XLR and two single-ended, using custom Mark Levinson RCA connectors – have their own individual high-reliability signal switching relays. There's also a home theater pass-through, it'll work with a 2.1 system and you get Bluetooth aptX HD for flexibility, too. 

Mark Levinson No. 5302 amplifier

(Image credit: Mark Levinson)

Mark Levinson's second new flagship separate within the 5000 series is the No. 5302 power amplifier (above), with custom-designed external heat sinks and front panel handles.

All of the new products have undergone Mark Levinson's own, in-house durability tests known as HALT testing (Highly-Accelerated Life Testing), and here, the 5302 looks more than up to the task. 

The amp can drive mono or stereo setups and is based on the 5805, but (with enough current for a conservative 135W/channel at 8 Ohms, 270W/channel into 4 Ohms, and 550W bridged in mono and stable operation into 2 Ohms) with a much larger power supply. 

Mark Levinson quips that where most amps simply have a power on/off switch, the No. 5302 has an IP, RS232 and 12V trigger. The fully discrete, direct-coupled, class AB amplifier channels get their power from an oversized 1100 VA toroidal transformer with individual secondary windings for the left and right channels. 

And the look? Think lavish finishes, bold geometry and 1-in thick, bead-blasted, black-anodized, solid aluminum front panels. 

Mark Levinson No. 5105 turntable

(Image credit: Mark Levinson)

The No. 5105 turntable was initially promised for summer 2020, but most plans went a little awry between January and March 2020. Now, it's finally crossing the pond – and it's quite a beauty to look at.

Like all new separates in the range, No.5105 takes inspiration from Mark Levinson's 500 series of hi-fi components and sees new material combinations 'innovated' for the first time.

The solid, one-inch-thick aluminium side panels are bead-blasted and black-anodized. Its tinted 25mm black display case is recessed into a bead-blasted, clear-anodized aluminium bezel and you've also got matching aluminium speed and standby controls at your fingertips.

There's a custom 10-in dual-axis gimble-bearing black carbon fibre tonearm tube, which is fused to a solid aluminium headshell so that it cannot twist when getting into the groove of your vinyl. The solid aluminium platter weighs a hefty 14lb and is suspended on a hardened steel axle, which rotates on ultra-precise bearings.

Everything sits on an aluminium plinth which is almost two inches thick and lies suspended on three adjustable aluminium feet. Each foot uses a mixed-material internal suspension system.

Powering the deck is a 12V synchronous motor with an integrated power supply.

The Mark Levinson No. 5105 can be bought either with or without a factory-installed moving coil phono cartridge – and here the firm has chosen the Ortofon Quintet Black. 

Mark Levinson No. 5101

(Image credit: Mark Levinson)

The Mark Levinson No. 5101 was first teased just over a year ago (above) and is billed as a sleek 3-in-1 companion source for either the No. 5805 or No. 5802 stereo amps in the series. It's essentially a slot-loading SACD player and premium network streamer, with the company's PrecisionLink II DAC inbuilt.

The latest generation ESS PRO Sabre 32-bit D/A converter with jitter elimination circuitry and a fully balanced, discrete current-to-voltage converter form the heart of the digital audio processing stage. You also get five digital audio inputs: one coaxial and one optical S/PDIF, and USB for playback of high-resolution PCM (up to 24 bit/192k, Network (WiFi and Ethernet) for streaming from a NAS drive which supports FLAC, WAV, AIFF, OGG, MP3, AAC and WMA, and the SACD input supports disc formats including SACD, CD-A, CD-R, and CD-RW. Also included is a pair of single-ended line level (RCA) outputs and one pair of balanced line-level outputs (XLR). 

A newly designed, aluminum IR remote is included with the 5101 and the app boasts easy access to all of your favourite streaming services. 

The No. 5105 turntable and No. 5101 streaming SACD player are shipping now, and the flagship No. 5302 amplifier and No. 5206 preamplifier will ship by the end of the year.

Prices? Well, products in the range are priced from £5500 to £8599, so if you're still reading, here we go: the No. 5302 amplifier is priced at £8599, the No. 5206 preamplifier is £8599, the 5105 turntable is priced at £5799 without phono cartridge and £6,499 with a cartridge, and the No. 5101 network streaming SACD player and DAC is priced at £5500. Something to add to the Christmas list, perhaps... 

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